News: The Next Big Thing: Mobs

By | July 6, 2003
 Wired reports on the arrival of flash mobs — “performance art projects involving large groups of people. Mobilized by e-mail, a mob suddenly materializes in a public place, acts out according to some loose instructions, and then melts away as quickly as it formed”.
Last Wednesday a mob turned up at the Grand Hyatt in New York, “walked quietly upstairs to the hotel’s mezzanine and gathered shoulder-to-shoulder around the balcony,” according to Wired. It then burst into thunderous, screaming applause for 15 seconds and dispersed, just as the police turned up in force.
Hmm. Sounds a great idea, depending on what the mobs actually do once they gather, although I would have thought SMS might be a better way to spread the word. Where I come from a mob gathers at the drop of a hat — or cry of ‘thief’ — and usually doesn’t disperse until summary justice has been dispensed. E-mail doesn’t have anything to do with it. Nor does art, come to think of it.

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